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Photo-Art Resources Photo manipulation/digital art tutorials, books, plugins, software, cool websites, etc., and info on the Impressionist plugin: troubleshooting, custom settings, tips & tricks, etc.

Software: Alien Skin Snap Art

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  #11  
Old 12-08-2006, 09:52 AM
borderline borderline is offline
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Re: Alien Skin "Snap Art": Anybody tried it? What do you think?

I worked on the development team for Snap Art so I am glad some of you have tried it out. In writing the filters we did do a bit of research on this and the dpreview retouching forums to get some inspiration. Thanks to everyone!

Snap Art will probably work ok with older versions of Photoshop too. The reason we only support for CS or later is because we only do testing on the listed hosts (it would be way too time consuming to do all of our testing the many versions and hosts out there). But we often find that it will work anyway and the problems are cosmetic UI issues. You should try the demo for the full 30 days (it is fully functional) to see if there are any problems- it is up to you to decide if it works with what you have (if it is not listed).

Anyway, I'm sorry to hear some of you have had less success with the product. Some photo/filter combinations are much more difficult to get nice looking results. Most of the time, you can go through the settings and find something that works but in some cases, or if you want a certain look it takes some experience. For example, Pencil Sketch is actually one of my favorite filters in the set but it can be difficult to get the look that you want because it is capable of such a variety of effects. For instance, the first (left) attached image is the factory default setting of a picture of my daughter. It is rather abstract and sketchy and hard to recognize. The second is from the same image, but I increased coverage and more importantly, I adjusted the color to black and white conversion parameters to get the tones I was looking for. For this filter (and pen and ink), you are losing a lot of perceptual information when you discard the color information, so the black and white conversion process (tone tab) is very important. I usually start there. Also, I seem to get better results when the coverage is high. I will agree that this filter can be a bit tough to use if you want photorealism.

When we write our filters there is often a trade-off between the power of what a filter can do and how easy to use it is. For this product we really wanted to get away from the really computery looking effects and try to make pictures that look like a human made them and which are also capable of creating abstract works of art (but that are 1-click). For that reason, it is possible to make unrecognizable results.

Anyway, I hope you can get a chance to try the demo- it is fully functional for 30 days. I think that with a little experience you should be able to see how much time you can save using it and also have some fun.

Thanks,
Tom
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File Type: jpg pacifier-factory-default.jpg (95.5 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg pacifier-tweaked.jpg (92.5 KB, 126 views)
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2006, 09:45 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Alien Skin "Snap Art": Anybody tried it? What do you think?

borderline,

welcome to RP.

and thanks for coming in and talking about your product. it's always great to have developers come in and discuss their products. that whole 'computery' effect would make an interesting topic somewhere here on RP.

cute daughter
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2006, 10:19 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Alien Skin "Snap Art" works with Photoshop 7 and Painter 8

Hi Tom:

I too would like to add my welcome and appreciation for your insider commentary and advice.

Inspired by your comment, I downloaded the demo and can confirm SA works fine with Photoshop 7.01 as well as Painter 8. It makes a world of difference assessing SA's capabilities and features based on hands-on experience vs. looking at example images.

re: Tom's pencil settings
Why is that combination that yields quite realistic results not included among the installed presets -- or is it and I've yet to find it? (I thought I tried all of them.)

~Danny~
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2006, 11:08 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Snap Art questions

Quote:
For example, Pencil Sketch is actually one of my favorite filters in the set but it can be difficult to get the look that you want because it is capable of such a variety of effects. For instance, the first (left) attached image is the factory default setting of a picture of my daughter. It is rather abstract and sketchy and hard to recognize.

The second is from the same image, but I increased coverage and more importantly, I adjusted the color to black and white conversion parameters to get the tones I was looking for.

For this filter (and pen and ink), you are losing a lot of perceptual information when you discard the color information, so the black and white conversion process (tone tab) is very important. I usually start there.

Also, I seem to get better results when the coverage is high.
Ya lost me here...
1. Did you use the Pencil Sketch filter on the second interpretation or the Pen and Ink filter?

2. re: the black and white conversion process (tone tab)
* Is the Automatic Color Conversion control checked or unchecked here?
* Are you doing the tonal adjustments with the channel controls?
* Is this set of controls similar in concept to Photoshop's Channel Mixer (monochrome option on) where one generally shoots for a sum of percentages in the neighborhood of 100%?
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2006, 10:25 PM
Xaran Xaran is offline
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Re: Alien Skin "Snap Art": Anybody tried it? What do you think?

I'll have to give this more of a test run seeing that sketch example - but I second Danny on why is there not a preset for it - this could make the difference in my buying or not.

Can presets be imported from a text file?

Christine
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2006, 09:25 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Alien Skin "Snap Art": Anybody tried it? What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaran
I'll have to give this more of a test run seeing that sketch example - but I second Danny on why is there not a preset for it - this could make the difference in my buying or not.

Can presets be imported from a text file?

Christine
re: Can presets be imported from a text file?

Yes. Once a setting combination has been saved for future recall via the Save button in the Settings dialog, one can "export" it via the Manage button. The resulting file is in a unique format (.f1S file suffix) can be subsequently be "imported" by another SA user.

Having spent a few hours experimenting with SA, it has some intriguing and quite unique arty possibilities. Results using the Comics and Stylize filters stand out in that regard in my opinion. Applied in 2-3 passes using different brush and stroke length sizes on separate layers combined using Layer Masks the Oil Painting effect looks pretty good on images that do not have a lot of detail.

Christine - FYI: graphite pencil-like effects are possible using the Color Pencil filter and setting the Saturation slider to the far leftin the Color tab .

So far, however, I have not had much success with results on "people" subjects. The level and quality of detail have been insufficient to meet my needs in this area. Except for SA pencil sketch effects combined with output from Akvis Sketch, which look pretty decent actually, the solution has not been to add an unrendered layer copy of an unmodified layer or a layer rendered by another filter/plugin above the SA rendered layer and attempt to restore detail using a Layer Mask. Doing that looks "too weird" against a SA rendered layer.

I look forward to continuing my experimenting during the generous 30-day evaluation period.

~Danny~
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2006, 05:04 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Alien Skin "Snap Art": Anybody tried it? What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyRaphael
So far, however, I have not had much success with results on "people" subjects. The level and quality of detail have been insufficient to meet my needs in this area.
OK... guilty as charged. When it comes to reading HELP files, that's among the last things I usually do.

Here's an excerpt from the built-in HELP that I found to be especially enlightening.

Choosing the Right Filter for Your Image
Any Snap Art filter will work on any photo, but the following guidelines will help you narrow in on the look you want.

Turning a portrait into a traditional work of art is probably the most common task for Snap Art. If you want to make the subject realistic, your best bet is Oil Paint, Pastel, or Impasto with a small brush size.

For a traditional yet more abstract look, try Color Pencil, Pencil Sketch, Pointillism, or Watercolor. The result will look like traditional hand drawn media, but the result will be less detailed than the previous filters.

If you want a really funky modern look, try Comics, Stylize, or Pen and Ink. Comics can keep the subject recognizable while turning it into something Andy Warhol might have done. For a more abstract look, Stylize or Pen and Ink can dramatically simplify the photo.


These descriptions are in alignment with the results I am getting so far. It helps to have the right expectations.
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2006, 06:26 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Snap Art Presets for download from Alien Skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaran
...I second Danny on why is there not a preset for it - this could make the difference in my buying or not.
Look what I just found -- a bunch of recently posted SA presets, courtesy of Tom, and their focus is to generate detailed results.

See: http://www.alienskin.com/forum/forum...p?TID=620&PN=1

Here's what worked for me...
* Created a folder on my Desktop, \Snap Art preset downloads
* (using Internet Explorer) Right-clicked on each preset link on the Alien Skin forum page
* From the flyout menu chose Save target as...
* Pointed to and saved the preset in \Snap Art preset downloads
* Repeated the previous 3 steps for all preset file links
* When all files were downloaded, I double-clicked on one file at a time. Doing this achieved the same result as engaging the Manage dialog, that is, the custom preset was loaded into SA without going through the Manage dialog each time. How cool is that?

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 12-11-2006 at 09:23 AM. Reason: Content correction.
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  #19  
Old 12-10-2006, 08:58 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Snap Art questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyRaphael
2. re: the black and white conversion process (tone tab)
* Is the Automatic Color Conversion control checked or unchecked here?
* Are you doing the tonal adjustments with the channel controls?
* Is this set of controls similar in concept to Photoshop's Channel Mixer (monochrome option on) where one generally shoots for a sum of percentages in the neighborhood of 100%?
See this post at the Alien Skin site for a well illustrated and explained answer to the above questions.
http://www.alienskin.com/forum/forum...p?TID=617&PN=1
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  #20  
Old 12-10-2006, 10:11 PM
Xaran Xaran is offline
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Re: Alien Skin "Snap Art": Anybody tried it? What do you think?

Thanks Danny - I had another go albeit brief and got quite good results using the charcoal settings.

Will post some examples later.


Christine
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